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Arsenal 2-0 Liverpool: Arsenal adapt well to Rodgers’ tactical decisions

November 4, 2013
Arsenal 2-0 Liverpool: Arsenal adapt well to Rodgers’ tactical decisions

Arsenal triumphed in a fast-paced and tactically interesting contest. With Jack Wilshere and Mathieu Flamini out, Arsene Wenger had no real selection dilemmas. Brendan Rodgers continued with his 3-5-2 system, although was without both first-choice wing-backs, with Glen Johnson a late withdrawal – Jon Flanagan played instead. Arsenal were the better side – just about keeping Liverpool’s...
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Posted in England | 27 Comments »

Porto 3-1 Sporting: Porto more compact without the ball and more efficient with their attacking

October 28, 2013
Porto 3-1 Sporting: Porto more compact without the ball and more efficient with their attacking

This was first against second in Portugal – champions Porto won, extending the gap to five points. Paulo Fonseca selected Silvestre Varela on the left, with Lica on the bench – otherwise, his side was as expected. Sporting coach Leonardo Jardim played Ivan Piris in an unfamiliar left-back role, in the absence of Jefferson Nascimento. Porto were...
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Posted in Portugal | 6 Comments »

Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City: counter-attack versus possession play but both attack in behind

October 28, 2013
Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City: counter-attack versus possession play but both attack in behind

Two ex-Atletico strikers – Fernando Torres and Sergio Aguero – were the most prominent players in a fast-paced, exciting clash. Jose Mourinho played Gary Cahill rather than David Luiz, and left out Juan Mata with Andre Schurrle and Eden Hazard on the wings. Torres started after his two goals against Schalke in midweek. Manuel Pellegrini used...
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Posted in England | 18 Comments »

Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid: Barca start well, lose control in the second half, then Martino belatedly makes changes to secure the game

October 27, 2013
Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid: Barca start well, lose control in the second half, then Martino belatedly makes changes to secure the game

Both managers made surprise selection decisions upfront, but Barcelona’s line-up worked better. Gerardo Martino left out both Alexis Sanchez and Pedro Rodriguez, naming Cesc Fabregas as one of his three attackers. Carlo Ancelotti omitted Karim Benzema and brought Gareth Bale into the side. Daniel Carvajal started at right-back, and three nominal three centre-backs were used: Pepe,...
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Posted in Spain | 70 Comments »

Real Madrid 2-1 Juventus: Real take the victory, but fail to impress

October 24, 2013
Real Madrid 2-1 Juventus: Real take the victory, but fail to impress

Despite losing the contest, Antonio Conte can arguably draw more positives from this match after his side performed impressively with ten men. Carlo Ancelotti selected a 4-3-3 system for the second time this season, with Gareth Bale and Isco both on the bench. Iker Casillas returned in goal. Conte went for a 4-5-1 system with Claudio...
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Posted in Spain | 38 Comments »